Fachini is a nod to fantastical dining: tuxedoed servers, Dean Martin crooning on the speakers, and opulent Italian decor. But it works best when its fantasy world is Texas-specific. There’s a tribute to the original Campisi’s Egyptian Restaurant, the Dallas restaurant that has served Mockingbird Lane since 1950. Fachini’s Egyptian salad ($15) starts with iceberg lettuce, then adds pepperoncinis and the kind of searingly acidic dressing that is a hallmark of classic red sauce joints.
Market-price “snapper New Orleans” lands on this menu, and we are better for it. The snapper gets a quick turn in that wood-fired oven, yielding perfectly crisp edges even with the skin removed. It sits under a chilled relish of cherry tomatoes, basil and crabmeat, and is as altogether wonderful as it is un-Italian.
On the starter side of the page, toasted lobster ravioli combines two great Italian traditions: the toasted ravioli of St. Louis and the lobster-stuffed pasta of Barsotti’s first and best Italian restaurant, Nonna. It’s a playful combination of elegance and fair food, with a bowl of tomato sauce for dipping.